Petr Vakoc blog: It feels amazing to be back racing
Since the first training camp in December, the time has been flying really fast. After 10 days of training in sunny Spain with a perfect company of my teammates, I went for a short trip to Prague to spend Christmas with my family. I enjoyed the last couple of days of cross training - gym, hiking on snowshoes and MTB - before heading back to Spain for second team camp.
The second camp was already much more intensive. Apart from a rest day that we spend with media, presenting our full squad and sponsors for 2019, it was all about training and recovery. All the photo shooting and meetings were done during the December camp.
I have been making nice progress, both in my comfort on the bike and my performance, so we decided with the team I will get back to racing already in Argentina at Vuelta a San Juan. I was super excited! It has been almost 16 months since my last race, and I was eager to be back racing as soon as possible.
In order to have the best conditions for training, I decided to do another week of training in Spain. Together with Julian Alaphilippe, we traveled a few hours northeast of Calpe to Girona. It is definitely my favorite place for training during the cold winter months. And it is always nice to have a friend to train with, especially when we are on the same race programme during the first part of the season and thus we can do most of the training sessions together.
The first couple of days in Argentina have been a huge shock for my body, flying across half of the globe and suddenly training in temperatures of 40 degrees [centigrade]. Suddenly I was a bit jealous of all the pictures of snow-covered Europe. But after three days of suffering in the heat, my body finally started to feel more comfortable, and my mind became more and more excited about my return to racing.
It really hit me in the evening before the first stage. The team presentation was a huge show, with thousands of fans, tango show and fireworks. It was probably even bigger than the one I got to see at the Tour de France. There, I really realized, I am about to race again. We even did a short, 10km criterium. That was a nice introduction to ride in the bunch again. Being able to feel comfortable in the peloton was something I was a bit worried about as the race was coming closer.
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